Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On to Riga...

Today we check out of the Hotel Latgola. To be fair, the hotel was CLEAN, the staff worked hard and was accommodating. The simple fact is, that for over 150 a night, you expect better in America. The beds are OK, the linens were stained on the bed, as were the towels, and the room was SMALL and HOT. So that's my unbiased opinion.

At checkout I got another surprise. Our laundry bill. Delightful. Had I known it would be 95 lats (almost 200 bucks!) I would have tossed the clothes out and purchased new ones, but we couldn'd find any suitable ones! I expected it to be about 75 or so, but this was insane! I casually mentioned it was quite a bit of money and the young man apologized and told me that those are the rates of the service, it is not a hotel service, but a contracted one. Then he sheepishly told me many people yell at him when they see the price and was glad that I had not. Haha Moral of the story=wash and wear! We tried to find a laundromat, American or British style, where you would just do your own clothes, but only services exist, where you give them your clothes and they are returned later. We basically had to open our wallet and shake it in Daugavpils.

Today we head to Riga. Sounds simple, right? Nyet. The plan was to take a cab to the bus station because of our luggage—it's a short walk but pulling several large suitcases over cobbled streets would have made it a marathon.

Natasha and I set out to get some money at the ATM and return to find Michael and Dima looking frustrated at the cab area. Apparently the cab driver is annoyed because our large American suitcases will not fit in his miniature European car. Michael is starting to get nervous bc we have prepaid bus tickets and time is ticking, but the cab driver is NOT accepting reason. Why not take two cabs?? He didn't WANT us to take two cabs.

Natasha and I approach the other cab driver and tell him (via Natasha) that we need to GO NOW and we will take two cabs. The two drivers are now speaking in furious Russian and the original cab driver is tossing his arms in the air. Natasha persists, bless her heart, and tells them “YES! TWO!” And we are on our way.

Loading up at the bus station is a nightmare. It's hotter than you-know-where and we have to get ON the bus but they refuse to turn the AC on even though the BUS is ON and RUNNING. I Am getting grumpy and the stench is pretty amazing. Finally, it's time to go and the air comes on, so it's now about a coooool breezy 85 degrees at best on this cattle car. Only 4 more hours. Fun, fun. Oh, and lest I forget, Dima tells us they will stop a few times for smoke breaks. Of course they will!


  1. ????Why did Daina not take you? I think that is paid for in our fees. She took us. Maybe the car is not big enough for the four of you? Did you already go for your second orphan court hearing? We did all of that there and then on to Riga. I am certainly glad we did all that in winter. There was plenty of heat! On the other hand, during our last trip in July, the hotel in Riga had no air conditioning and it was in the 90s! No elevator either! Hope your Riga experience is better!

  2. Shannon - I am having so much fun reading your adventures. Jama - they are not done - just going to Riga for a few days that's why Daina is not taking them Michael is coming home early. Then Shannon & the kids have to go back for 2nd court hearing & then back to Riga for Embassy stuff!!